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Capilano University is finally being welcomed into the business world with open arms.  The Certified Management Accountants of Canada (CMA) has decided to let Cap into its exclusive club that very few universities are a part of: schools with an undergraduate accounting program accredited by the CMA Canada.

Their University Accreditation program began in 2000, and since then the CMA has officially recognized 34 post-secondary institutions all over Canada.

Business students who complete Capilano’s Bachelor of Business Administration Program with a minimum 75% GPA will be able to transition into the CMA’s Strategic Leadership Program (SLP) without taking the entrance exam. 

CMA Canada’s accreditation of Capilano’s Business of Administration program will not have a large impact on the degrees students are able to earn through the Business program, but rather opens up more opportunities for the students to take part in post-graduation from the Business of Administration program.

Completion of the SLP gives students a CMA designation, which allows them to work in a variety of businesses with a set of unique skills that gives them a competitive advantage.

“[CMAs] have a holistic view of business, are able to identify issues, envision and chart solutions, and engage the appropriate measures and people within the organization to achieve the desired results,” says Richard Benn, Executive Vice President of CMA Canada. “CMAs are considered both leaders and solid team players, which translates into a unique and effective style of management.”

CMA Canada was created because it acts as a self-regulating body that practices professional conduct in management accounting to protect the interests of the public.

The organization has 50,000 members around the world, and grants a professional designation in strategic management accounting. It also allows for students to gain an integrated perspective on things in the business sector.

"There are many benefits to accreditation,” said Graham Fane, dean of the Faculty of Business at Capilano University. “For example, CMA accreditation signals to employers, the accounting profession and to the government that our program and our graduates meet a high quality standard. Second, it allows Capilano University to attract top students who are interested in the CMA designation. And third, it provides our CMA aspirants with tangible benefits, such as an exemption for the first part of the CMA Entrance Examination."

Some students, however, feel that the accreditation will not make a difference.

“They get done what they need to get done, and they have good resources,” an ex-Business Program student says.  “[The accreditation] gives a little boost, but it doesn’t matter because Cap isn’t known for business. UBC is still UBC.” This student wished to remain anonymous in order to retain business contacts.

Although Capilano may not have a well-known business program currently, the CMA accreditation could change that.

“The CMA accreditation program enhances the stature and recognition of academic institutions, thus making them attractive to students with many competitive choices,” says Benn.

The ability to directly enroll in CMA Canada’s Strategic Leadership Program also enables students to achieve CMA accreditation more quickly and efficiently.

"We’re extremely excited and proud about receiving accreditation from the CMA,” said Fane.

In order to become recognized by the CMA, Capilano’s BA program had to meet all of the CMA Canada Competency Map Entrance Requirements, which included the institution’s commitment to the faculty’s objectives, innovation in curriculum development, and the nature and effectiveness of program quality assurance, among other criteria.

“The CMA is equipped to look to the future to provide real-world strategic direction, business management and leadership,” says Benn.  “A CMA creates value, instead of just measuring it.”

//Samantha Thompson

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